CARICOM continues to assess the gaps in realizing child rights: Barbados

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Joseph Goddard

Progress made globally in ending all forms of violence against children remained uneven, Barbados representative Ambassador Joseph Goddard.

Speaking for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Goddard said that the actions taken by States were characterized by uncoordinated policy interventions and dispersed and ill-forced legislation. He added that they were based on scarce data and research.

And he stressed that violence against children was a violation of their human rights, adding there is an absolute need for CARICOM to continue to assess the gaps in realizing child rights, and to implement, monitor and evaluate programmes aimed at filling those gaps, in order to advance the promotion and fulfilment of child rights.

“Sexual violence against children is a particularly heinous violation of the rights of the child, causing irreparable psychological and physical damage. It is insidious, shrouded in silence and secrecy, often enabled by cultural norms which disregard the rights of children and allow perpetrators to enjoy high levels of impunity. The vulnerability and young age of the victims create favourable conditions for predators, making it far more likely that the abuse remains undetected, or continues for some time before detection. Child sexual abuse is under-reported, and sexual violence against boys, even more so.”

Turning to youth crime, Ambassador Goddard emphasized that children and youth had become increasingly involved in crime and violence as both victims and perpetrators, lamenting that youth crime and violence had reached alarming levels.

” Preliminary findings indicate that the children most at risk of becoming members of gangs are young, marginalized males. Risk factors for youth crime and violence include poverty, inadequate or poor parenting, the receding influence of institutions such as schools, faith- and community-based organizations which have traditionally served as bastions of protection; exposure to and experience of violence at home, in school, in communities and the wider society; poor or inadequate educational opportunities, and social exclusion. CARICOM member states are treating youth violence as a matter of urgency.”

On the question of health, Ambassador Goddard noted that wishing the highest attainable health standards for its citizen, CARICOM had tackled the issue of non-communicable diseases, pointing out that due to shifting cultural consumption and recreation patterns, childhood obesity was on the increase, and must be addressed by underlining the importance of sport and physical activity.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’56″

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January 2018
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